Tips for creating Redbubble designs

Looking to make money from your art? Well, the print on demand site, Redbubble, could be a great place to start. Here are some tips to help you make those designs so good people will be rushing to buy them, by Rosa Fairfield. 

For anyone that doesn't already know, Redbubble is a website that allows you to upload your art and have it printed on various products. There's no upfront fees and you get a percentage of every sale you make. So, now you know what it is, here are some tips to help you sharpen up those design skills. 

Angry Girl cushion
Angry Girl cushion

Double check your transparent background

For t-shirt designs, you're probably going to want to have a transparent background. If you start out with a white background and remove it, you may end up with a thin white outline around your image. This might not be visible when you're creating the design but it can show up when you upload it, especially on the dark coloured t-shirts.

Even if you do start out with a transparent background, it's still easy for dots of colour to accidentally appear. So, before you upload it, go over the background with an eraser and double check the design when you upload. 

You could even experiment and have a large white border that's part of your design. That's what I've done with this unicorn bag design

Think about the smoothness of your outline

If your outline is too smooth, it can make the design look blurry, when printed. On the other hand, if the outline is rough, the design can look unprofessional. Of course, you could use both these techniques for artistic effect. If you're trying to create a 90's vibe, for instance, a rough outline could be perfect. You just have to make sure it's a deliberate choice. 

Comic Book blanketComic Book blanket

Draw what sells

Before you start designing, do some research. Know what's popular and what the top sellers on Redbubble are. You don't just have to stick to Redbubble for your research, either. Take a look at your favourite mainstream stores and familiarise yourself with the products the sell. 

It's about finding a balance; you don't want to create what's already out there or something so niche that no one's ever going to find it.

Colours are important

Think about colours that look good together and how much colour you want to use. Do you like working with pastels or brights? You can also add a light pattern to your colour, as this prints well and adds some texture to your design. A wavy pattern could look like fur on a cute bunny sticker.

When creating for t-shirts, you want to make sure your design works with as many t-shirt colours as possible. 

Alien Cushion
Alien Cushion

Butterflies and Roses comforter
Butterflies and Roses comforter

Learn copyright law

If you're a complete newbie to designing for Redbubble, you might be tempted to create designs of your favourite film characters.

Fan art is a very tricky area when it comes to copyright law. If you're making money from it, and you're actively advertising it as being a character from a franchise, it's likely you may be asked to remove it. That can feel disheartening when you're spent time creating. To avoid the heartache, create completely original designs and characters. Plus, it's emotionally rewarding when you create something 100% original and people want to buy it.